Your one-stop destination for snow, sake, craft and delicious ramen
One of Asahikawa’s claims to fame is that it holds the record for Japan’s coldest ever recorded temperature: a nippy -41°C! Indeed, the city does winter well, with many enticing ski slopes and onsen (natural hot springs) within easy reach. To fully enjoy its wintry charms, visit during the magical Winter Festival (early February). Giant snow and ice sculptures, and snow-mobile rides are just the start.
There are also plenty of attractions you can experience all year round. Get a feel for its thriving arts and craft scene by wandering the galleries and specialist shops dotting the city, and checking out the sculptures along Heiwa Street. Chow down on its celebrated ramen (there’s even a Ramen Village!), and sample its popular sake at a local brewery.
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to day trips. Daisetsuzan National Park is a must for its mountainous beauty, rare flora and fauna, and scenic hiking paths. Furano is always lovely, but summer is when you'll see its famous flower fields, awash with colourful blooms.
Small enough to be relaxing but large enough to keep you busy, Asahikawa just might be your new favourite holiday spot...